Ramanagara (Karnataka): L. Chandrashekar, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Ramanagara in the Karnataka by-election 2018, on Thursday quit the party just two days before the bypolls and returned to the Congress, saying he was ignored in the campaigning. Chandrashekar, who was in Congress before, had joined the BJP on October 10. Also Read - 'Stand Together With Govt But Sudden Lockdown Created Immense Panic', Rahul Gandhi Writes to PM
Announcing his decision, Chandrashekar said that he was ignored by the BJP leaders who didn’t turn up at the campaigning for the Karnataka by-election as promised. “BJP leaders had promised their support to me when I decided to contest on the party ticket from Ramanagara. However, none of them even came forward to campaign for me. So, I made the decision to quit the party…,” he said. Also Read - More Nuanced, Compassionate Approach Required to Deal With Crisis: Rahul Gandhi on Lockdown
“They told me that my victory would mark the downfall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. But all the leaders were camped elsewhere and did not show any intention to campaign for me,” he said, adding that he would support the coalition candidate Anitha Kumaraswamy (H.D. Kumaraswamy‘s wife) in the Karnataka by-election 2018. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh: 22 Rebel Congress MLAs Join BJP, Day After Kamal Nath's Resignation as Chief Minister
As Chandrashekar’s decision comes two days ahead of the by-poll and posts the last date of withdrawal of candidatures, an Election Commission official said his name will continue to remain on the Electronic Voting Machines.
Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda, however, said that the leader’s decision to switch over to the Congress party shows all the issues with the Congress leaders. He said that when someone joins the BJP, “we think they have come with the ideology and mentality of the saffron party. Chandrashekar’s case shows Congress’ mentality doesn’t leave their workers.”
The by-election to the southern state’s two Assembly segments — Ramanagara and Jamkhandi — and three Lok Sabha constituencies — Ballari, Shivamogga, and Mandya — will be held on Saturday. The vote count will take place on November 6. Coalition partners Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Congress are contesting the by-election together in a bid to defeat the BJP.
With agency inputs